Top image by Mark Lickley
“Ooo R” Joe lad’s 4th Birthday
Joe’s 4th birthday today and here is his cake I made him. I had fun making it. This makes a big old cake. So I used a large tin. You could make it in, lets say two round 23 cm cake tins too.
I’m writing this so quickly, as I know Lou will ask me for the recipe, and I’ll take ages to do it. Unless I post now! It’s a lightly nutty cake with little nuggets of solid chocolate amongst the almond crumb. I used nutella as I had run out of butter and chocolate, but the nutella was good to cover the top and sides and keep things together.
You could use a butter cream instead, and a more grown up version would be by adding the zest of a lemon to the cake mixture and a little of the juice to some buttercream. But you do need the ganache in the middle too.
Chocolate Banana and Almond Cake
350 g self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 medium free range eggs
300 g butter, softened (this is important as otherwise it’s a nightmare to blend in!)
300 g caster sugar
300 g ground almonds
150 g dark chocolate
150 g milk chocolate
3 large ripe bananas
Milk choc ganache
200 ml whipping cream
460 g milk choc ( I used Dairy Milk)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 39 x 28 cm rectangular or 2 x 23 cm round cake tins.
2. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and then beat in the eggs, softened butter, caster sugar and ground almonds with an electric hand whisk.
Chop both chocolates, mash bananas and stir into mix.
3. Spread the mix evenly in the tins and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and the sponge springs back when you press gently with your fingers. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
4. To make the ganache, heat the cream to just below boiling point and then break the chocolate into cubes and drop into the cream. Stir until melted then scrape into a bowl and leave to cool, then refrigerate until it sets.
5. Using a bread or serrated knife, cut the cake/s horizontally in half. Now cut out the shape of the skull and sandwich this together with the ganache. Spread the Nutella over base and sides. (you could use butter cream as I’ve said above.)
6. Then I used the pre-made royal/fondant icing you can buy. Coloured, rubbed it with silver and gold edible powder, and rolled it out to cover it. I think I used about 3 x 500 g packets and I may have actually only needed two. Colourings and creativity of choice.